The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Small town snubs president

OP/ED
 Small town snubs president
Small town snubs president

Small town snubs president

In what is possibly the most embarrassing political snub sinceGore lost his home state of Tennessee in 2000, PresidentBush’s hometown newspaper, The Lone Star Iconoclast,has endorsed John Kerry for President.

With a headline reading, “Kerry Will Restore AmericanDignity,” the McLennan County independent newspaper’spublishers write, “The publishers of The Iconoclast endorsedBush four years ago…Today, we are endorsing his opponent, JohnKerry, based…on [Kerry’s] vision of a return tonormality.”

While the small-town weekly does not possess either the prestigeor editorial polish of the New York Times or The DallasMorning News, the publishers are no less passionate and themessage is just as substantive and deliberate.

Consider:

Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration:his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, thedeteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift awayfrom the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, andhis continuous mistakes regarding terrorism and Iraq.

In addition, the editorial lists what the publishers consider tobe a list of Bush failures, stating, “Few Americans wouldhave voted for George W. Bush four years ago if he had promisedthat, as President, he would:

• Empty the Social Security trust fund by $507 billion tohelp offset fiscal irresponsibility and at the same time slashSocial Security benefits.

• Cut Medicare by 17 percent and reduce veterans’benefits and military pay.

• Eliminate overtime pay for millions of Americans andraise oil prices by 50 percent.

• Give tax cuts to businesses that sent American jobsoverseas, and, in fact, by policy encourage their departure.

• Give away billions of tax dollars in government contractswithout competitive bids.

• Involve this country in a deadly and highly questionablewar, and

• Take a budget surplus and turn it into the worst deficitin the history of the United States, creating a debt in just fouryears that will take generations to repay.

In what is arguably the most excoriating assessment of thePresident’s first term, the publishers write:

The Iconoclast, the President’s hometown newspaper,took Bush on his word and editorialized in favor of the invasion.The newspaper’s publisher promoted Bush and the invasion ofIraq to Londoners in a BBC interview during the time that theadministration was wooing the support of Prime Minister TonyBlair.

Again, he let us down.

We presumed the President had solid proof of the existence ofthese weapons, what and where they were, even as the searchcontinued. Otherwise, our troops would be in much greater dangerand the premise for a hurried-up invasion would be moot, allowingmore time to solicit assistance from our allies.

Instead we were duped into following yet another privilegedagenda.

In addition to blasting Bush on the war in Iraq, the editorialcites other policies, mostly domestic, for which it faults Bush,including “the vast evaporation of jobs,” and his”resolve to inadequately finance Homeland Security and to cutthe Community Oriented Policing Program (COPS) by 94 percent, toreduce money for rural development, to slash appropriations for theSmall Business Administration, and to under-fund veterans’programs.”

In its defense of their endorsement of Kerry, the publishersenumerate what they consider to be Kerry’s “positivevision for America.”

On the Iraq war, the publishers write, “Kerry’sfour-point plan for Iraq is realistic, wise, strong, andcorrect.”

On the state of the economy, they conclude, “Compared toBush on economic issues, Kerry…has what it takes to right ourwronged economy,” adding, “The re-election of George W.Bush would be a mandate to continue on our present course of chaos.We cannot afford to double the debt that we already have. We needto be moving in the opposite direction.”

In a clear and realistic acknowledgment of its size and thescope of its influence, the editorial ends by stating,”That’s why The Iconoclast urges Texans not to rate thecandidate by his hometown or even his political party, but insteadby where he intends to take the country.”

In all honestly, the editorial on whole is more a renunciationof Bush than an endorsement of Kerry. Its importance is no lesssignificant.

A great deal is made about Bush’s country-boy persona,Texas roots and small-town appeal, and it’s small towns likeCrawford that Republicans consider to be the most loyal part oftheir base.

While Crawford may not be the mythological heartland thatRepublicans talk about, it’s probably about as close as anysmall town will get. And that — more than anything else— is what makes the rebuff of the President sopersuasive.

 

George Henson is a lecturer in Spanish. He may be contactedat [email protected].

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